Friday, October 25, 2013

Antarctic Book Review: Tom Crean Ice Man, the Adventures of an Irish Antarctic Hero by Michael Smith

Tom Crean: Ice Man, the Adventures of an Irish Antarctic Hero by Michael Smith is a biography of Tom Crean. The book focuses on his experiences as part of three Antarctic expeditions during his career with the British Navy. This book is appropriate for grades 3 to 5. This book is a good biography that covers the life of an early Antarctic explorer that is not as well known individually as Scott or Shackleton, but was part of two of the most famous Antarctic expeditions (Scott’s 1910-1913 Terra Nova South Pole expedition and Shackleton’s 1914-1917 Endurance expedition). Being about a lesser-known explorer might make this book appealing to students that want to learn more about Antarctic explorers.

This book also provides an alternative perspective that other resources on the expeditions do not always cover, especially in regards to Crean not getting selected for the final push to the South Pole with Scott after getting within 150 miles and their return party almost facing death like Scott’s party did. The book may also be considered multicultural in that Crean was Irish and it discusses him not talking much about his polar experiences later in life because he felt it made him too connected to Britain in a time that Ireland was fighting for independence.

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